The Cure Performed the Entire “Disintegration” Album on the 30th Anniversary of Its Release: Watch The Complete Concert Online

30 years after its original release, The Cure performed the entirety of their 1989 album Disintegration at a concert held this past Thursday at The Sydney Opera House. Disintegration remains the band’s best-selling album to date, and it now ranks #326 on Rolling Stone’s list of the “500 Greatest Albums of All Time.” You can watch the show, from start to finish, above. Find a setlist, with timestamps, below.

17:15 Delirious Night

23:44 Fear of Ghosts

30:45 No Heart

34:20 Esten

38:17 2 Late

41:10 Out of Mind

44:46 Babble

54:42 Plainsong

59:25 Pictures of You

1:06:44 Closedown

1:11:00 Lovesong

1:14:40 Last Dance

1:19:52 Lullaby

1:24:46 Fascination Street

1:29:47 Prayers for Rain

1:35:34 The Same Deep Water as You

1:44:47 Disintegration

1:53:11 Homesick

2:00:16 Untitled

2:10:55 Burn @​

2:17:52 Three Imaginary Boys

2:21:30 Pirate Ships

via Laughing Squid

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The First Museum Dedicated to Japanese Folklore Monsters Is Now Open

As any enthusiast of Godzilla movies knows, nobody does monsters quite like the Japanese. The cultural tradition of giant creatures laying waste to cities is known as kaijūa combination of kai (怪), “strange,” and  (獣), “beast.” The well of kaijū goes deep, but the well of Japanese monsterhood itself goes much deeper. Take yōkai, the category of monsters, spirits, and demons whose history goes all the way back to the first century. But it wasn’t until the medieval era that depictions of yōkai —whose name combines the characters  (妖), with its connotations of attraction, bewitchment, and calamity, and kai (怪), which can indicate something suspicious, a mystery, or an apparition — turned into popular entertainment.

Most yōkai possess supernatural powers, sometimes used for good but often not so much. Some look human, while others, such as the turtle-like kappa and the intelligent if dissolute raccoons called tanuki (stars of Studio Ghibli animator Isao Takahata‘s Pom Poko), resemble animals. But the wide world of yōkai also includes shapeshifters as well as only seemingly inanimate objects. You can familiarize yourself with all of them — from the gong-banging bake ichō no sei who hang around under gingko trees to the cloth dragon shiro uneri born of a dishrag to the “temple-pecker” teratsutsuki who lives among Buddhist priests and on a diet of rage — at the English-language database

Demand for yōkai stories increased during the early 17th to the mid-18th century Edo period, which saw the introduction of the printing press to Japan. One popular tale of that era, Ino Mononoke Roku, tells of a young boy who must undergo 30 days of confrontations with various yōkai in the city of Miyoshi. It’s no coincidence that the very first museum dedicated to yōkai has just opened in that same place. “The Miyoshi Mononoke Museum, or formally the Yumoto Koichi Memorial Japan Yokai Museum, opened in the city of Miyoshi after Koichi Yumoto, a 68-year-old ethnologist and yokai researcher in Tokyo, donated some 5,000 items from his collection in 2016,” says the Japan Times. “The museum displays about 160 items from Yumoto’s collection, which includes a scroll painting of the famous folktale and crafts.”

Located in Hiroshima Prefecture (also home to the Onomichi Museum of Art and its famous cats Ken-chan and Go-chan), the Miyoshi Mononoke Museum features “about 160 items from Yumoto’s collection, which includes a scroll painting of the famous folktale and crafts,” an “interactive digital picture book of yōkai” as well as opportunities to “take photos with the monsters using a special camera set up at the site.” You’ll find a suitably odd animated promotional video for the museum, which turns into a yōkai dance party, at the top of the post. Whether or not you believe that these attractive, bewitching, calamitous, suspicious, mysterious apparitions really inhabit the world today, you have to acknowledge their knack for inhabiting every form of media that has arisen over the centuries.

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Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities, language, and culture. His projects include the book The Stateless City: a Walk through 21st-Century Los Angeles and the video series The City in Cinema. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall, on Facebook, or on Instagram.

The Art & Cooking of Frida Kahlo, Salvador Dali, Georgia O’Keeffe, Vincent Van Gogh & More

Mexican cuisine is as time-consuming as it is delicious.

Frida Kahlo fans attracted to the idea of duplicating some dishes from the banquet served at her wedding to fellow artist Diego Rivera should set aside ample time, so as to truly enjoy the experience of making chiles rellenos and nopales salad from scratch.

Sarah Urist Green’s Kahlo-themed cooking lesson, above, adapted from Marie-Pierre Colle and Frida’s stepdaughter Guadalupe Rivera’s 1994 cookbook Frida’s Fiestas: Recipes and Reminiscences of Life with Frida Kahlo, is refreshingly frank about the challenges of tackling these types of dishes, especially for those of us whose grandmas ran more toward Jell-O salad.

Her self-deprecation should go a long way toward reassuring less-skilled cooks that perfection is not the goal.

As she told Nuvo’s Dan Grossman:

The art cooking videos are immensely fun to make… And what I’m trying to do is reach people who aren’t necessarily outwardly into art or don’t know whether they’re into art so they’re not going to click on a video that’s strictly about art. But if you can present art ideas through a cooking tutorial perhaps they’ll be more open to it. I love to cook. And I love to think about that side of art history.

To that end, she takes a couple of bite-sized art breaks, to introduce viewers to Frida’s life and work, while the tomatoes are roasting.

As tempting as it is for old Frida hands to skip this well-charted terrain, doing so will not make dinner ready any faster. Why not enjoy the non-cooking related sections with the easiest item on the menu—a tequila shot?

Don’t trick yourself into thinking there’s nothing more to learn.

For instance, I did not know the Spanish for “I can’t get over this hangover,” but Frida’s pet parrot did. (Didn’t know that either.)

Green also offers some quick how-tos that could come in handy for other, less time-consuming dishes, like a sandwich or a plate of homemade pasta—everything from how to make homemade tomato sauce  to denuding prickly pear cactus pads of their non-edible spines.

If you’re undaunted by the Frida recipes, perhaps you should proceed to Salvador Dali’s towering Bush of Crayfish in Viking herbs, or the Futurists’ highly suggestive Meat Sculpture. Other recipes come from Vincent Van Gogh and Georgia O’Keeffe. See above.

Books referenced in the videos include: Dinner with Georgia O’Keeffe; A Painter’s Kitchen: Recipes from the Kitchen of Georgia O’Keeffe; Dali’s Les Diners de GalaVan Gogh’s Table at the Auberge Ravoux: Recipes From the Artist’s Last Home and Paintings of Cafe Life; and again Frida’s Fiestas: Recipes and Reminiscences of Life with Frida Kahlo.

View the full playlist of The Art Assignment’s Art Cooking episodes here.

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Ayun Halliday is an author, illustrator, theater maker and Chief Primatologist of the East Village Inky zine.  Join her in New York City this June for the next installment of her book-based variety show, Necromancers of the Public Domain. Follow her @AyunHalliday.

Metallica, REM, Led Zeppelin & Queen Sung in the Style of Gregorian Chant

Gregorian chants became a thing very briefly in the early 1990s, when German electronic group Enigma combined them with the Soul II Soul “Keep On Movin’” drum loop and that everpresent shakuhachi sample for “Sadness Part One”. And then that song was *everywhere* for the first half of the 90s, giving rise to chillout music like the Orb and The Future Sound of London.

Gregorian music faded away as a trend in dance music, but it’s never really gone away. Bolstered by some claims that the soothing voices help increase alpha waves in the brain, groups like Gregorian (created by Enigma’s Frank Peterson) set about arranging pop songs in the Gregorian style, starting in 1999.

Others have followed suit, or should I say followed cowl (such as Auscultate, which created the Queen cover below).

But Gregorian (the group) is the king of them all, and Petersen’s project has gone on to sell over 5.5 million albums.

Corny or not, the project is immensely popular worldwide, and has produced ten “Masters of Chant” albums, along with Christmas CDs and such. And while our current pop stars have to get into athletic condition for their Vegas-like shows, there’s something to be said for a group of blokes just standing around on stage singing in unison like they’re in a crypt. Looks like a decent gig. Here’s a full concert:

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Ted Mills is a freelance writer on the arts who currently hosts the artist interview-based FunkZone Podcast and is the producer of KCRW’s Curious Coast. You can also follow him on Twitter at @tedmills, read his other arts writing at and/or watch his films here.

1980s Metalhead Kids Are Alright: Scientific Study Shows That They Became Well-Adjusted Adults

In the 1980s, The Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC), an organization co-founded by Tipper Gore and the wives of several other Washington power brokers, launched a political campaign against pop music, hoping to put warning labels on records that promoted Sex, Violence, Drug and Alcohol Use. Along the way, the PMRC issued “the Filthy Fifteen,” a list of 15 particularly objectionable songs. Hits by Madonna, Prince and Cyndi Lauper made the list. But the list really took aim at heavy metal bands from the 80s — namely, Judas Priest, Mötley Crüe, Twisted Sister, W.A.S.P., Def Leppard, Black Sabbath, and Venom. (Interesting footnote: the Soviets separately created a list of blackballed rock bands, and it looked pretty much the same.)

Above, you can watch Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider appear before Congress in 1985 and accuse the PMRC of misinterpreting his band’s lyrics and waging a false war against metal music. The evidence 30 years later suggests that Snider perhaps had a point.

A study by psychology researchers at Humboldt StateOhio State, UC Riverside and UT Austin “examined 1980s heavy metal groupies, musicians, and fans at middle age” — 377 participants in total — and found that, although metal enthusiasts certainly lived riskier lives as kids, they were nonetheless “significantly happier in their youth and better adjusted currently than either middle-aged or current college-age youth comparison groups.” This left the researchers to contemplate one possible conclusion: “participation in fringe style cultures may enhance identity development in troubled youth.” Not to mention that heavy metal lyrics don’t easily turn kids into damaged goods.

You can read the report, Three Decades Later: The Life Experiences and Mid-Life Functioning of 1980s Heavy Metal Groupies here. And, right above, listen to an interview with one of the researchersTasha Howe, a former headbanger herself, who spoke yesterday with Michael Krasny on KQED radio in San Francisco.

Note: An earlier version of this post appeared on our site in July 2015.

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If you would like to support the mission of Open Culture, consider making a donation to our site. It’s hard to rely 100% on ads, and your contributions will help us continue providing the best free cultural and educational materials to learners everywhere. You can contribute through PayPal, Patreon, and Venmo (@openculture). Thanks!

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Take a Visual Journey Through 181 Years of Street Photography (1838-2019)

All of us here in the 2010s have, at one time or another, been street photographers. But up until 1838, nobody had ever been a street photographer. In that year when camera phones were well beyond even the ken of science fiction, Louis Daguerre, the inventor of the daguerreotype process and one of the fathers of photography itself, took the first photo of a human being. In so doing he also became the first street photographer, capturing as his picture did not just a human being but the urban environment inhabited by that human being, in this case Paris’ Boulevard du Temple. Daguerre’s picture begins the historical journey through 181 years of street photography, one street photo per year all soundtracked with period-appropriate songs, in the video above.

From the dawn of the practice, street photography (unlike smile-free early photographic portraiture) has shown life as it’s actually lived. Like the lone Parisian who happened to be standing still long enough for Daguerre’s camera to capture, the people populating these images go about their business with no concern for, or even awareness of, being photographed.

The earliest street photographs come mostly from Europe — London’s Trafalgar Square, Copenhagen’s former Ulfeldts Plads (now Gråbrødretorv), Rome’s Via di Ripetta — but as photography spread, so spread street photography. Rapidly industrializing cities in America and elsewhere in the former British Empire soon get in on the action, and a few decades later scenes from the cities of Asia, Africa, and the Middle East begin to appear.

Each of these 181 street photographs was taken for a reason, though most of those reasons are now unknown to us. But some pictures make it obvious, especially in the case of the startlingly common subgenre of post-disaster street photography: we see the aftermath of an 1858 brewery fire in Montreal, an 1866 explosion in Sydney, an 1874 flood in Pittsburgh, a 1906 earthquake in San Francisco, and a 1920 bombing in New York. Each of these pictures tells a story of a moment in the life of a particular city, but together they tell the story of the city itself, as it has over the past two centuries grown outward, upward, and in every other way necessary to accommodate growing populations; transportation technologies like bicycles, streetcars, automobiles; spaces like squares, cinemas, and cafés; and above all, the ever-diversifying forms of human life lived within them.

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Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities, language, and culture. His projects include the book The Stateless City: a Walk through 21st-Century Los Angeles and the video series The City in Cinema. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall, on Facebook, or on Instagram.

When Boris Pasternak Won–and Then the Soviets Forced Him to Decline–the Nobel Prize (1958)

Behind the awarding of the Nobel Prize in Literature, there are stories upon stories, some as juicy as those in the work of winners like William Faulkner or Gabriel García Márquez—and some just as devastating to the parties involved. Last year’s award was postponed after sexual assault allegations lead to several members to resigning. (There will be two prizes awarded for 2019.) The charges needed to be aired, but if you’re looking for details about how the secretive committee selects the nominees and winners, you’ll have to wait a while.

“The Swedish Academy keeps all information about nominations and selections for the prestigious award secret for 50 years,” writes Allison Flood at The Guardian. Newly unsealed documents from the Academy have shone light on Jean-Paul Sartre’s rejection of the prize in 1964, and the shunning of Samuel Beckett in 1968 by committee chairman Anders Österling, who found his work too nihilistic (Beckett won the following year), and of Vladimir Nabokov, whose Lolita Österling declared “immoral.”

Perhaps the saddest of Nobel stories has taken on even more vivid detail, not only through newly opened files of the Nobel Prize committee, but also recently declassified CIA documents that show how the agency used Boris Pasternak’s Doctor Zhivago as a propaganda tool (handing out hasty re-translations into Russian to Soviet visitors at the World’s Fair). In October 1958, the author was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. He had, as The Guardian reported in October of that year, intended to “accept it in person in Stockholm next month.” He may have had little reason to think he could not do so.

Despite his role as a perpetual thorn in the side of the Soviet government, and their attempts to suppress his work and refusal to allow Doctor Zhivago to be published, the repressive regime mostly gave Pasternak his relative freedom, even after the novel was smuggled abroad, translated, and released to an international readership. Whether or not the Nobel committee chose him as an anti-Communist statement, as some have alleged, made no difference to his reputation around the world as a penetrating realist in the great Russian novelistic tradition.

The award might have been perceived as a validation of Russian letters, but the Soviets saw it as a threat. They had “raged” against Doctor Zhivago and its “anti-Marxist” passages, “but that only increased its popularity,” writes Ben Panko at Smithsonian. Pasternak had already been “repeatedly nominated for the Nobel Prize” and the “worldwide buzz around his new book pushed him to the top of the list in 1958.” Upon learning of the win, he sent a telegram to the committee that read, in part, “Thankful, glad, proud, confused.”

Days later, as The Guardian wrote, Pasternak decided to decline the award “without having consulted even his friends.” He sent a short telegram to the Swedish Academy reading:

Considering the meaning this award has been given in the society to which I belong, I must reject this undeserved prize which has been presented to me. Please do not receive my voluntary rejection with displeasure. – Pasternak.

The author’s “decision” was not as abrupt as it might have seemed. In the days after his win, a storm raged, as he put it. Even before the declassified trove of information, readers around the world could follow the story, “which had more twists and turns than a Cold War-era spy novel,” Tina Jordan writes at The New York Times. It played out in the papers “with one front-page story after another.” Pasternak angered the Soviets by expressing his “delight” at winning the prize in an interview. He was denounced in Soviet newspapers, called by a Pravda editor a “malevolent Philistine” and “libeler,” and his book described as “low-grade reactionary hackwork.”

Pasternak faced exile in the days after he gave up the prize and issued a forced public apology in Pravda on November 6. The Academy held the ceremony in his absence and placed his award in trust “in case he may some day have a chance to accept them,” the Times reported. Pasternak had hoped to be reinstated to the Soviet Writer’s Union, which had expelled him, and had hoped that his novel would be published in his own country and language in his lifetime.

Neither of these things occurred. The events surrounding the Nobel broke him. His health began to fail and he died two years later in 1960. Pasternak’s son Yevgeny describes in moving detail seeing his father the night after he turned down the Nobel. “I couldn’t recognize my father when I saw him that evening. Pale, lifeless face, tired painful eyes, and only speaking about the same thing: ‘Now it all doesn’t matter, I declined the Prize.’” Doctor Zhivago was published in the Soviet Union in 1988. “The following year,” notes Panko, “Yevgeny was allowed to go to Oslo and retrieve his father’s denied prize.”

Looking for free, professionally-read audio books from That could include  Doctor Zhivago. Here’s a great, no-strings-attached deal. If you start a 30 day free trial with, you can download two free audio books of your choice. Get more details on the offer here.

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Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness.

The Story of Pure Hell, the “First Black Punk Band” That Emerged in the 70s, Then Disappeared for Decades

In the mid-seventies, many people felt excluded from and disdained by the mainstream of rock and roll, which had largely come to represent itself as a straight white boys and girls club full of superrich rock stars. The narrow image fostered attitudes of implicit racism and homophobia that exploded in the 1979 “Disco Sucks” backlash. This despite the fact that rock and roll began as interracial music built on the flamboyantly ambiguous sexuality of Little Richard, the racy short stories of Chuck Berry, the grooves of Chubby Checker, the edgy beats of Bo Diddley, and a great many unsung black female performers.

Now we tend to remember 70s rock differently, not so much as the era of KISS or the Eagles, but as the transgressive time of David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, and Freddie Mercury, of the huge commercial and creative triumphs of women-led bands like Fleetwood Mac and Heart, of punk and new wave outsiders setting the template for four decades of alternative rock: The Ramones, Patti Smith, the Sex Pistols, Blondie, The Clash, Joy Division, Talking Heads, Gary Numan, Kraftwerk…. We remember it, still, as a time when rock was mostly white, and when black artists mostly recorded disco, funk, soul, and R&B.

The record industry and radio markets had segregated, and it would stay that way into the 80s, though jazz artists like Miles Davis made serious inroads into rock experimentation, bands like Parliament/Funkadelic released hard rock psychedelia, Prince channeled both Little Richard and Chuck Berry, and early punks like Detroit’s Death and Philadelphia’s Pure Hell made groundbreaking punk and metal. The former escaped critical notice, but the latter became famous, then disappeared from rock history for decades.

Death, the visionary trio of brothers who were recently rediscovered and celebrated, never really made it in their time outside of a small circle. Pure Hell, on the other hand, were an integral part of the New York punk scene and stars in Europe, and have been forgotten by most official punk histories. They “lived with the New York Dolls and played with Sid Vicious,” writes Cassidy George at Dazed, “but they’ve been largely written out of cultural history.” They are sometimes written back in, just as, to their dismay, they were promoted: as the “first black punk band.” But there’s far more to their history than that.

“I don’t want to be remembered just because we were black,” says singer Kenny “Stinker” Gordon. “I want to be remembered for being a part of the first tier of punk in the 70s.” He is not exaggerating. New York Dolls guitarist Johnny Thunders promoted the band, leading to gigs as Max’s Kansas City and a feature in Andy Warhol’s Interview magazine, “marking their ‘place’ in a scene of cultural influencers.” They appeared in a 1978 issue of Melody Maker during their UK tour, in a photo with Sid Vicious, who wears his swastika t-shirt and padlock and chain. (Gordon also wore a swastika t-shirt onstage.) Just one of many second-page write-ups in Melody Maker, NME, and the European press.

All of the hype surrounding the band is part of the historical record, for those who look through backpages and archives, but their music has mostly gone unheard for over a generation, largely because their album Noise Addiction only came out in 2006. After they released their first single in ‘78, then refused to change their sound for a record deal, their manager Curtis Knight absconded with the master tapes and refused to release them. Listen to their debut single, a cover of “These Boots Are Made for Walking,” above. Melody Maker called it, with a wink, “the former Nancy Sinatra hit.” The song reached number four on the UK alternative charts.

Pure Hell describe their journey through the mid-seventies New York punk scene in the montage of interview clips at the top, scored by wicked, riff-laden recordings of their songs. The story began with four friends from a tough neighborhood in West Philadelphia. “We dressed in drag and wore wigs, basically daring people to bother us. People in the neighborhood would say, ‘Don’t go into houses with those guys, you may not come out!’” They were pressured to join a gang, says bassist Lenny “Steel” Boles, but refused. They packed up a U-Haul and moved into the Chelsea Hotel, then played their first show across the street at Mother’s.

Legendary stories about the band abound. (They played Sid Vicious’ last appearance onstage and were caught up in the media circus surrounding Nancy Spungen’s death). What’s most interesting about them is the music and their lasting influence, despite what Boles describes as being “snubbed” by record labels unless they agreed to “do this Motown thing, saying like, ‘You guys are black so you’ve gotta do something that’s danceable.” After losing their manager and their masters, they settled in L.A., where they played with the Germs and the Cramps but “lost their momentum,” writes George.

“It was totally over by 1980,” says Gordon. All the same, their heavy proto-metal sound, drawing from reggae and Hendrix as much as from Bowie and Nancy Sinatra, sparked the admiration of many emerging punk bands, including Washington, DC legends Bad Brains, who acknowledge the debt their furious reggae/metal thrash owes to Pure Hell. Bad Brains broke color barriers in New York a few years later, and got most of the credit for it, largely because Pure Hell left behind nothing but a mysterious single and a “rumor,” says Henry Rollins, “that they had made an album and that it was sitting in a closet.”

After the tapes resurfaced, nearly everyone who heard the record became an instant fan, including Rollins. “If the album had come out when they made it, that would have been a game changer,” he says. “I believe [it] would have had a tremendous impact. It’s one of those missed opportunity stories.” But it is also a found opportunity story. They are now getting recognition for their music and historical role. In 2012 they reformed to play their first show since 1979, with Rancid, Buzzcocks, Public Image Ltd, and Social Distortion. Pure Hell will find their way back into the story of New York punk, and it will be a more interesting story for their rediscovery.

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Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness

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